Manchester born flute, whistle and pipe player Michael McGoldrick is a musician who learned his trade at traditional Irish music sessions, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann meetings and Fleadhanna Ceoil competitions. He is also a musician who, in his late twenties, had already co-founded, toured with or been a member of several high profile and progressive Celtic trad/fusion bands such as Flook, Lúnasa, Capercaillie and Afro Celt Sound System. A keen composer influenced by the vibrant and multicultural Mancunian music scene, he has released six albums to date under his own name.

On the back of Morning Rory (1996), his first solo album on the traditional Irish flute, Michael McGoldrick released the aptly titled Fused in 2000, a ground-breaking and superbly arranged blend of traditional, trance, jazz and Indian music under the musical direction of arranger and composer Donald Shaw.

Michael McGoldrick -  Fused (2000)
Michael McGoldrick – Fused (2000)

Adding several of his own compositions into the mix, Michael McGoldrick and his band tackle the Irish, Scottish and Breton repertoire with various percussions including a Tabla player (or even Talvin Singh loops on one track), electric and bass guitar and a brass section.

On “the Otter’s Set”, a suite of three traditional Irish reels (The Ashplant/Hanley’s reel/The Otter’s Holt), he experiments with the extremely rare pairing of wooden flute and muted trumpet (Neil Yates) to stunning effect. And then there’s Dezi Donnelly’s sublime touch on the fiddle. The musician continued on exploring a similar soundscape with Wired in 2005 and Aurora in 2010.